Rock ‘n’ Roll

Soon, in the next couple posts, I will reach the number 400 in the total number of posts I have made here since starting this blog in March of 2010. A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the last five years, and I have had some difficulties, actually longer than five years if you consider this coming February 22 will mark eight years since the beloved mother of my daughters passed away from pancreatic cancer, but nonetheless, life has been getting better for me. I am involved in an amazing relationship with a wonderful woman whom I’ve actually known for 43 years. Bearing down on eight months now, Mary is a fellow musician, great singer – she was formerly in a Heart cover band and also sang in another ’80’s Band, where they performed an entire set of Heart and another of Pat Benatar’s music. She also plays guitar and keyboards. She and I also share so many other mutual interests: good food, wine, Captain and Coke, Dirty Martinis, cooking, photography, good beer, she loves my fly tying and is fascinated by it, nature, dancing, she loves to fish, though I will be getting a fly rod in her hands for the first time when the weather warms a bit. It is just amazing and miraculous to find someone this late in life when one might have though the best has already passed by.

My music career, hobby that was more or less given up in ’79 when I dropped out of the rock band I was in (back then we were just a rock band; the term Classic Rock had not yet been invented), has taken off as I’ve been drumming full-time in a Classic Rock Band called Pepper Street. We played fifty-seven gigs last year. It’s great fun, relieves stress, and I’ve met new friends and gotten reacquainted with old ones from back in the day. For not playing at all in thirty-four years, save for the occasional performance in church and a few theater musicals in the ’80’s, I had not played at all. Sadly, the drum kit was just collecting dust. I’ve since gotten my playing stamina back, and am getting my chops tuned as well. 😉 And doing some lead vocals, either from the drum kit or fronting the band when a friend who is also our soundman sits in. Such a blast!

Here is a shot of me at my vintage Premier drum kit:

Don Bastian - Premier 1975 Powerhouse PD2500 drum kit.

Don Bastian – at my vintage Premier 1975 Powerhouse PD2500 drum kit. Taken on my birthday in April 2014 at a local American Legion Post.

The hardware is all new, upgraded to the heavy-duty stuff from the last ten or so years. We play tonight. Another night of fun and music!

Here are a couple more pics of the band in action:

The Pepper Street Band performing July 2014 at the Tiki Bar and Patio at the Pier 87 Bar and Grill near Montoursville, PA. We have five bookings there again this summer.

The Pepper Street Band performing July 2014 at the Tiki Bar and Patio at the Pier 87 Bar and Grill near Montoursville, PA. We have five bookings there again this summer.

Pepper Street Band at the New Mountain Tavern, Allenwood, PA.

Pepper Street Band at the New Mountain Tavern, Allenwood, PA.

A highlight of the band’s gigs from last year: At Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards, north of Middleburg on PA. RT. 104, and near Pennsylvania’s famed Penn’s Creek, at their Annual Fall Harvest Festival. There were more than 500 people present at this outdoor event in October. The band had a blast, the crowd loved us!

Crowd of 500-plus people aat Shade Mountaain Winery in October 2014, music by the pepper Streeet Band, covering Classic Rock and Rock 'n' Roll Oldies.

Crowd of 500-plus people at Shade Mountain Winery in October 2014, music by the Pepper Street Band, covering Classic Rock and Rock ‘n’ Roll Oldies.

View of the Pepper Street Band, behind the stage at Shade Mountain Winery for their Annual Fall Harvest Festival, October 2014, near MIddleburg, PA. Rock 'n' Roll!

View of the Pepper Street Band, behind the stage at Shade Mountain Winery for their Annual Fall Harvest Festival, October 2014, near Middleburg, PA. Rock ‘n’ Roll!

View toward the front of the stage, the Pepper Street Band is rockin'!

View toward the front of the stage at the Annual Fall Harvest Festival at Shade Mountain Winery, the Pepper Street Band is rockin’!

More good news: We have been invited back for the Annual Fall Harvest Festival at Shade Mountain Winery on Saturday October 10th, 2015.

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7 comments on “Rock ‘n’ Roll

  1. Kelly L says:

    Donnie, it is so sad that you lost your wife like that. That type of cancer is so often deadly. I lost someone I loved to that type of cancer. Anyway, my heart aches for you, when I read about it. I knew that you have missed her all these years. But you have been blessed with what sounds like another good woman. You can make some great memories with this new lady in your life. I wish you the best.

  2. Larry M says:

    Congratulations on your “new and improving” life. I’m just a bit jealous that you still play in a rock band. In my younger years I too was an aspiring young drummer. I never was real successful at it from a financial aspect, but it did give me much pleasure and I also used my drumming skills to avoid serving in combat during the Viet Nam War. I joined the Army as a drummer and served my country playing in an Army Band. It was a great way to do it for those of us that had no other choices back then.
    Love to you and your sweet lady, keep the good times rolling!!!

  3. Don, Glad to see you use the skins and having fun! See all those years of looking at the dusty drum set and restraining yourself paid off .. ” Hmmm…wonder what drumskin strips would look like on a nymph body?” Didnt make it to Jersey…looked at my passport that expired last Sept!! Next year. Was texting with Bill Spicer who was there and not sure if he had a chance to say hi for me.
    Speaking of Rock n Roll, Bill has a great story about getting a call from a company wanting him to take their guy on a fly fishing trip. He was coming into Toronto airport from Vancouver and Bill was to pick him up there and head out on the river to guide him. Flight got weathered in and the fellow had to cancel. A few weeks later or so, Eric Clapton sent him a letter with a nice tip and was sorry he couldnt make it but would like to try again sometime. Bill is HUGE into guitar playing/music and I am sure we all could agree he was more heart broken at the missed opportunity to fish with his idol than Eric was to fish with Bill!.

  4. RichTullo@aol.com says:

    Don, Rock on! Rich

  5. Terry Chapman says:

    All the best to you Don for 2015!

  6. Great to hear it is going well! Sorry I missed the Flyfishing show.

  7. Excellent post Don. It’s cool to hear that you’re involved in so much beyond fly tying. I have played music since I was 17, sometimes not so well, and I’d like to keep doing it as long as life permits. Its good for the soul and I can go play much easier than I can pack up and drive an hour to fish. If you guys are ever playing around Pittsburgh…lemme know!

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